Laguna cops in torture case face dismissal

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014


TEN policemen, including a chief inspector, are facing possible dismissal from the service for allegedly torturing inmates at a jail facility in Binan City in Laguna last week.

PNP information officer Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac said the policemen were led by Chief Inspector Arnold Formento, assigned with the intelligence unit of the Laguna Provincial Police Office (PPO).

Also facing dismissal proceedings were Senior Police Officer (SPO) 1 Alexander Asis, Police Officer (PO) 3 Freddie Ramos, PO2 Marc Julius Caezar, PO2 Melmar Baybayado Viray, PO1 Nelson Caribo, SPO3 Bernardino Artisen, PO3 Renan Galang, PO2 Mateo Cailo and PO2 Aldwin Paulo Tibuc.

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He said the 10 policemen were relieved from their posts and restricted to their quarters.

"They were also charged administratively for grave misconduct for maltreatment of prisoners and are now undergoing pre-charge investigation," said Sindac.

The alleged torture of the inmates was initially investigated by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) who looked into the complaint of 15 inmates of the satellite office of police intelligence bureau of the Laguna PPO in Binan City.

The alleged tortures were carried out by the Laguna policemen with the aid of a multicolor wheel or the so-called "wheel of torture," which was adopted from the popular American game show "wheel of fortune." Torture methods are determined by every turn of the wheel, the CHR said.

CHR chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales said torture methods employed on the inmates ranged from punching to hanging for at least 30 seconds. Other inmates claim that they were mauled and hit with baseball bats.

"The officers wear wigs and masks while beating and abusing their detainees," Rosales said.

Provincial Human Rights Affairs Officer Inspector Roselle Orate said the detainees showed her their injuries, bruises and even their blooded clothes during their investigation into the case.

Rosales said they will ask the courts to immediately transfer the inmates to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and provincial jails while administrative charges are being readied against policemen. (VR/Third Anne Peralta/Sunnex)

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